Prevent Cyberattacks

Listen here for a radio interview about this article on WGVU public media.

Is it defense or offense that wins the game? While debate continues around whether defense or offense is key to victory, there is certainly no doubt about the importance of a solid defensive strategy. Similar to a game of football, creating a defensive strategy for your team is crucial to winning against the opponent, a.k.a. the data hackers.

Experienced hackers and sophisticated phishing schemes have affected all organizations, regardless of size. Consider this alarming statistic – 64% of companies have experienced web-based attacks and 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses. Small businesses are easy targets due to their minimal security and moderate amount of data, and because the chances of attack are high, setting up a strong defense is critical to avoiding big issues in the future.

Small businesses are at risk when unprepared for a cyberattack. Hackers can steal employee emails, client data, financial records and all the information that’s on your server – Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, etc. Reputation damage and permanent financial damages are just two of the repercussions small businesses face when unprepared for a cyberattack. Going out of business is an extreme fallout that far too many organizations have experienced. Winning in business is very difficult if you get hacked.

With football season right around the corner, we created 5 defensive strategies for your business to consider for preventing cyberattacks.

5 Defensive Strategies to Prevent Cyberattacks

  1. Train your team
    Your employees must be an essential part of your defensive strategy. It is important to educate them on security standards and prevention so they know how to identify and handle threatening situations. Teach your employees basic cybersecurity practices so they know when they’re presented with a threat or are vulnerable to intrusion.
  2. Establish your line of scrimmage
    Define your line before you play. An information security policy outlines the actions and behaviors expected to avoid risks to the company, its clients, vendors, and other stakeholders. Examples of policies include acceptable use, access control, change control, disaster recovery, physical security, and many more.
  3. Implement double coverage
    Double up on your defense. Two-factor authentication verifies user identities with a required temporary passkey or verification code sent to the user’s mobile device. This will help keep your data safe because even if credentials were hacked, hackers can’t access your data without the required passkey.
  4. Blitz the hackers
    Don’t let your opponent find unnecessary opportunities. Seal the corners and rush directly toward the data hackers by securing the network with a business-class firewall featuring unified threat protection. By installing firewall protection, you can prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet.
  5. Set up a defensive scheme
    With users accessing the Internet from multiple devices in and out of the office, it is crucial to protect and manage those devices. Setting up cloud security defenses to block known malicious destinations and implementing mobile device management to protect corporate data are two highly recommended solutions.

Establishing your business’ defensive strategy is crucial, and choosing the right IT partner can make the process much more seamless. Some IT providers fail to address security because they become complacent and forget to make sure everything is operating optimally. What it took to secure your business one year ago would look considerably different than it does today. It is important that your IT provider is well-versed on the latest developments to maintain ongoing security and to keep your company educated. You may be approaching the fourth quarter, but it’s not too late to secure the win.